City Comptroller John Liu plan to speed up part of the city's capital plan and has the support of the construction industry and teachers' union. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
City Comptroller John Liu laid out a plan Wednesday to speed up $2 billion worth of spending in the city's nearly $40 billion five-year capital plan.
The plan is designed to fill potholes faster, speed up sewer repairs, expedite classroom makeovers and fix up parks.
Over the next two years, it could create 15,000 jobs.
"[The plan will] take advantage of low interest rates, low construction costs [and] accelerate some of the capital plan. We will wind up saving taxpayers money in the long run and create jobs in the short run," Liu said.
The plan has the support of the leaders of the city's teachers union and construction industry, who will both be players in next year's mayor's race.
"The construction industry needs the work. The needs, the capital needs identified by the agencies are there. This is a win win," said Richard Anderson of the New York Building Congress.
"An overcrowded class is a detriment to a child's education. We need more school seats. We need more schools," said Michael Mulgrew of the United Federation of Teachers.
When asked, Liu says the proposal is not about politics.
"The second question comes up with everything that we say nowadays and it is just not applicable to me, but to other elected officials as well," he said.
While the comptroller highlighted projects at city schools, he declined to name specific projects and what kind of work should be done. He said ultimately the decision should be up to city agencies and the City Council.
Mayor Bloomberg, for one, is not taking to the plan.
“We have invested more in capital projects than any administration in city history but his plan would add new costs we just can’t afford. The sooner you borrow money, the sooner the interest starts to rack up,” said mayoral spokesperson Marc LaVorgna.
Other fiscal experts point to the escalating cost of debt service.
"It just opens up the door to more spending and more debt that we can't necessarily afford," said Maria Doulis of the Citizens Budget Commission.
Liu says his plan will have to be part of the budget, which must be approved by June 30.